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I Was Body Image Obsessed Since Grade School: Here’s How I Finally Found Peace

By October 30, 2016Support

I’ve always loved being outdoors. As a kid, I grew up in a cul-de-sac and I was always outside. I would follow my older brother and his friends around, attempting to play any sport they were: I tried basketball, skating, biking, and even snowboarding when we went on family vacations.

I soon developed my own passion for horse-back riding. It’s an expensive sport, so I didn’t compete often. But I loved taking lessons anyway. I think I cried myself to sleep a few times because my mom wouldn’t buy me a horse– and let’s be real, I’ll probably always shed a tear every Christmas when there’s no pony waiting by the tree with a bow on it.

 

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When I was in 3rd grade, I started to get a little chubby. I didn’t realize at the time, but the reason for my weight gain was probably a steroid medicine my doctor had put me on for a really bad case of bronchitis. But I was only in 3rd grade, and still a kid– it wasn’t until a boy at school called me fat that I had even noticed.

And my struggle with body image began. I started to notice that I was always just a little bigger than my friends; and I began the treacherous “yo-yo diet” struggle.

Seriously: in the 5th grade I went with my mom to a weight loss center. The people working there must’ve thought my mother was crazy or just being mean. But it was me who was so aware of and worried about my weight. At the tender age of 11, I knew that my body wasn’t how I wanted it to be and that I wanted to “be on a diet” to make myself slimmer.

Flash forward to my growth spurt. I started to even out, as naturally kids’  bodies do, but the yo-yo dieting continued. In high school, I was still at it and trying to lose weight. I got a gym membership when I turned 16, and I would still try to diet when the scale wasn’t where I thought it should be.

The 6 months leading up to college were when it was probably at its worst: I was trying to lose as much weight as possible before I thought I would inevitably gain the freshman 15. To me, this made sense. Throughout freshman year, I tried to prevent those few extra pounds persistently. It became an unhealthy obsession of counting calories and working out that distracted from school and enjoying my everyday life.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I decided to make peace with my body.

The scale would jump up and down but it always seemed to stick around a certain number. So that’s it, I said to myself, I have to accept that my body is happiest when I am at that weight. I finally stopped restricting myself with my diet and instead decided to live “80/20”: make healthy choices 80% of the time and 20% of the time indulge (in moderation).

Instead of dieting and exercising, I decided I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle. And it worked– I loved it, and I felt happier and more balanced than ever. This experience eventually lead me to deciding to double major in Exercise Science and Dietetics, and hopefully one day soon, I will become a Registered Dietitian helping others chose to live an active, healthy lifestyle. 

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When I started my journey with the fitness part of this lifestyle change, the biggest thing for me was trying a bunch of different workouts so I wasn’t ever bored with my routine. I’ve tried everything from kickboxing to Zumba to lifting to yoga.

Overall, though, I would say my favorite workouts are ones I do with a friend. The gym can get pretty monotonous, so grabbing my roommate or calling one of my best friends up to go to a yoga class makes it extra fun. Plus, they help keep you accountable!

I used to really like going to group fitness classes on campus or at a local fitness studio- I tend to go through phases. A big group of my sorority sisters used to go to a bootcamp on campus, and it was so much fun! We all saw such fast results because we would push each other to go every week.

I even tried a 7.1-mile obstacle course race with my friend Megan last year! (Peep the post mud-race photo.)

Right now I’ve been into the different “guides” trend. One of my best friends from middle school @gertnergrind came out with a glutes guide which has been literally kicking my butt.

I believe its good to switch up my routine to make sure I’m challenging my body in different ways and to keep from getting burnt out. I also couldn’t finish an about me without mentioning my favorite workout partner – Doobie. My rescue pup who also rescued me a little bit.

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So that’s a little bit about my journey. As of now, I’m really excited to start contributing to Fit University– I feel like this is a place where like minded college students came come and not feel left out of the party scene. Why? Because it’s a big health/fitness party! Be on the lookout for some recipes, tips & tricks, and probably more dog pics from me. And if you want to see more, follow my foodie Instagram @college_bitez!

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Author Kyndall Herman

Kyndall is in her 5th year at Florida State University obtaining two degrees in Dietetics and Exercise Science. When she isn't in class or studying, she can be found in the athletics department where she is a Sports Nutrition intern working with the FSU football team (#gonoles). In the rare event of some free time she enjoys binge watching netflix, taking naps w her puppy, and a good cup of cold brew coffee.

More posts by Kyndall Herman

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